Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Electric Hydroplane Hits 117.50 MPH in NC Test

Hydroplane driver John Peeters averaged 114.20 mph on the American Power Boat Association’s sanctioned kilo course on Lake Townsend near Greensboro, North Carolina in a recent test run.

The team’s customised Pro-Outboard hydroplane, nicknamed Big Bird, has a 200 HP electric race motor, co-developed with Flux Marine.

Peeters entered the kilo speed-trap and posted a single-direction speed of 111.08mph. Without recharging the boat’s batteries (as is required of a kilo-style event), he then increased his speed in the opposite direction, recording an average speed of 117.50 mph. The two speeds averaged together for the new world record of 114.20mph.

The team, made up of more than 40 students from New Jersey’s Princeton University, therefore beat the previous official record of 88.61 mph established by Jaguar-Vector’s V20E race boat in 2018, and pipped Vision Marine Technologies’ single-point speed captured at 116 mph at the 2023 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

“We came together as a team with a dream. Today, hard work and ingenuity brought this dream into a reality,” says Peeters, an Arlington, Washington resident and holder of numerous hydroplane racing records. “Rarely can one say: we are the greatest or best, but today we can. Fastest electric boat ever.”

After repairs are made to a broken propeller shaft that unfortunately ended the day early, Andrew Robbins, Princeton Electric Speedboating’s chief executive officer, says he believes the team is on track for a 120+ mph average on the next attempt, and plans are already in the works to increase the record they just set.

“A broken prop-shaft ended our day, and we didn’t have a spare to replace it with… It still was an epic achievement for these kids! I am unbelievably proud of the team,” says J.W. Meyers, Blacksheep Racing, racing development partner.
Post Event Celebration

Ben Sorkin, founder and CEO of Flux Marine (Powertrain Development Partner), adds: “I couldn’t be prouder of the Princeton team’s accomplishments… The opportunity to leverage Flux Marine’s powertrain technology in a record-breaking application and have our engineers work side by side with some of the brightest and motivated students in the world is truly tremendous.

“We cannot wait to see the impact that these students will have on the future of marine technology.”